Big Wednesday - A big surfing classic!
No matter what rolls in on the tides of time, California surfing buddies Matt, Jack, and Leroy know they'll stick together. And, they know they'll be ready when a rare 20-foot swell hits the coast at last.
John ("Conan the Barbarian") Milius wrote and directed this underrated, but significant beach movie that is much more than first meets the eye. What is most memorable is the terrific second unit big wave cinematography by famed Imax and surf photgrapher Greg MacGillivray. But the undercurrent (no pun intended) is a troubling tale that grew from Milius' memories about his own surfer buddy friendships on the day -- a big Wednesday -- when Watts was going up in flames and the surf was peaking.
Almost a great film that in retrospect was far and away more prescient than given credit at the time. Jan Michael Vincent, Gary Busey and William katt are perfect as the friends seeking meaning and purpose as they move through ten turbulent years starting in the mid-60s.
This title, like Monte Hellman's "Two Lane Blacktop" and Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider" is a legendary film with a devoted cult following that looks at a specific time in America through the eyes of lost innocence.
Big Wednesday" is finally available in a pristine widescreen DVD transfer with an insightful, witty, and at times almost poetic commentary by writer director Milius.
from: Amazon.com review
And the editorial review from Amazon.com
John Milius charts a decade of social change as three surfing buddies use the sport as a personal touchstone for their lives while growing up in the turbulent 1960s. Irresponsible hot-dogging legend Matt (Jan-Michael Vincent), serious and stable Jack (William Katt), and mad misfit Leroy, a.k.a. "Masochist" (Gary Busey), are teenage surf bums in 1963, living at the beach in a perpetual summer under the sway of surfboard-maker Bear (Sam Melville), guru, mentor, and keeper of the lore. But the times they are a changin' and boys grow up in the shadow of Vietnam while adulthood pushes them into hard decisions.
John Milius mixes the nostalgia of American Graffiti with the reverence of a John Ford cavalry drama. Surfing becomes a kind of spiritual quest spoken of in awed mythic tones and photographed with the epic grandeur of a rite of passage. Milius's heavy-handed direction and reverent attitude slows the films and will turn off some viewers, but Milius fans will appreciate his macho stylings and philosophical musings, and surfing fans will love the spectacular surfing footage, including the dazzling stylings of world champion Gerry Lopez (who Milius later cast in Conan the Barbarian). Lee Purcell costars as Matt's supportive wife, with Patti D'Arbanville, Barbara Hale, and Robert Englund in supporting roles. Look for Ford stock player Hank Worden in a small role and Milius himself in a cameo selling marijuana in Tijuana. --Sean Axmaker
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